Authored by Mitch Hansen, Senior Director of Growth Marketing at OpenWeb
Google announced that it will delay the depreciation of third-party cookies in the Chrome browser until 2023 to give the industry more time to prepare for the “cookiepocalypse.” Once Google passes an investigation by UK antitrust officials, they plan to phase out cookies over a three-month period beginning in mid-2023.
So, yes, the deprecation of third-party cookies has been delayed, but this doesn’t change much. Publishers and advertisers now have simply a longer on-ramp to develop sustainable, long-term strategies for moving away from third-party cookies.
All of this said, the way toward a sustainable future for publishers and advertisers alike remains the same: building direct relationships with their users.
First-party data is still the name of the game
Google is planning a privacy compliant ad targeting solution to replace cookies at some point, but it’s still unclear exactly what that will look like. Leading publishers know that there is already a better alternative to cookies, and they’re taking advantage of it right now. That is, the data they collect by moving readers from unknown, transient visitors to known, registered, return users – aka, first-party data.
Encouraging an active community of registered users gives publishers the opportunity to collect valuable insights like behavioral and demographical data. Publishers across the web are using this data to improve their editorial strategies and better match advertisers with their users to create effective advertising that drives more revenue.
Focus on 1:1 audience relationships by building community
Without the mad rush to formulate a first-party data strategy, publishers have an opportunity to experiment in the most effective ways to harness their first-party data. Many are already accomplishing this by cultivating a community, usually anchored in robust social experiences like quality conversation, polls, and more.
Publishers with active, thriving communities grow their registered user base, increase engagement, and see more active users—all of which translates into valuable first-party data insights.
Building a community is the first step—activating and understanding your data is crucial for any first-party data strategy.